Gone are the days of brick and mortar grocery stores or a retail clothing outlet. Welcome to the world of e-Commerce where you can shop everything from vegetables to jewellery to clothes or do banking transactions and much more. Amazon, Flipkart, Shopify are some big names competing in the e-Commerce marketplace zone, where practically you find anything and everything you want to buy. What’s more comforting than sitting on your couch,while shopping for something you love, online!
However, have you ever wondered what goes behind the scenes of these websites? Although the user-experience on these platforms is seamless and fruitful, there are a host of technical as well as operational loopholes e-Commerce platforms face that need immediate attention and need resolution at the earliest.
In this blog, we will go through the challenges e-Commerce sites face and what a Blockchain based e-Commerce platform can offer, as a solution to resolve these challenges?
Is a Blockchain based e-Commerce platform required?
First things first, let us understand the basic functionality of an e-Commerce website. An e-Commerce platform comprises of a giant inventory of commodities, an even bigger consumer base, an enormous amount of transactional data related to the customer order, supplier-customer communication, logistics, payment affairs etc. While storing and managing such a huge volume of data is extremely essential; it is also quite an overwhelming and herculean task.
To start with, ensuring security of millions of e-Commerce platform users’ private and intimate data is of top concern. We are not new to reports of cyber-security issues of confidential customer data getting hacked or leaked to third parties, consequently being misused for illegal purposes. There are tons of cases where data security and integrity have been compromised that have lead to catastrophic consequences. Hence, it is imperative for e-Commerce websites to be in complete control of securing user-sensitive information like personal data as well as related financial data. A reliable e-Commerce platform is one where consumers can freely share their confidential bank account information and details without the fear of losing this sensitive data to hackers. Hence, these sites have to integrate robust data-encryption softwares to keep consumers’ personal data safe and resistant from cyber criminals.
Another fundamental but very crucial aspect of an e-Commerce site is the management of logistics or Supply Chain Management (SCM). SCM is an integral part of any business be it Agriculture, online food delivery or for that matter an e-Commerce platform we are talking about. A product/commodity has to complete a vast journey right from the manufacturer to the wholesaler to the retail seller to the end consumer. There are N number of hurdles in this entire chain that the product has to overcome, like faulty raw material, manufacturing delays, inefficient vendor communication, payment processing issues and many many more to finally reach its destination i.e. the customer. Additionally, the involvement of illegal agents and middlemen in the process to mint exorbitant money to smoothly facilitate the process, cannot be ignored. Perhaps, SCM is the most difficult and eventful phase of the e-Commerce business.
Managing an effective payment transaction ledger is of supreme importance in any e-Commerce affair. Registering orders from consumers, payment details, tracking the order through the logistics journey, delivering the item to the consumer, return/refund of product, etc are some of the many transactions that have to be securely recorded in ledgers or account books to maintain a history of every small or big event throughout the process.
With its unique and distinct features of decentralization, immutability and transparency, Blockchain can provide the best solution to e-Commerce businesses to overcome these technical and operational barriers. Let us see what a Blockchain based e-Commerce platform can do to increase operational and technical effectiveness.